mottle

[ mot-l ]
/ ˈmɒt l /

verb (used with object), mot·tled, mot·tling.

to mark or diversify with spots or blotches of a different color or shade.

noun

a diversifying spot or blotch of color.
mottled coloring or pattern.

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Origin of mottle

First recorded in 1670–80; probably back formation from motley

OTHER WORDS FROM mottle

mot·tle·ment, nounmot·tler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for mottle

  • Ginsburg put up his gloved hand and wiped clean a face that with passion had turned a mottle of red-and-white blotches.

    From Place to Place|Irvin S. Cobb
  • Let God make His sunsets: I will mottle my little fading cloud.

  • Gangs of buffalo, herds of antelope, and droves of wild horses, mottle the far vistas.

British Dictionary definitions for mottle

mottle
/ (ˈmɒtəl) /

verb

(tr) to colour with streaks or blotches of different shades

noun

a mottled appearance, as of the surface of marble
one streak or blotch of colour in a mottled surface

Word Origin for mottle

C17: back formation from motley
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012